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Thread: Yardsale season/ I have an axe to grind

  1. #1
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    Yardsale season/ I have an axe to grind

    I will probably never swing this axe but I'd like to restore it to a usable state. It has a lot of mushrooming form someone splitting with a sledge hammer. The head is loose and there's a small split at the end of the handle. It's a project for sure.

    The wooden handled screw drivers are appealing for some reason and I can see myself collecting these throughout the summer. Perfect tools for the shop where nothing gets done :-)

    20220605_134146.jpg

  2. #2
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    The axe looks to have a short handle like one of mine. This is sometimes called a Scout axe or a boy's axe. They usually have a lighter head than other axes.

    My brother used to collect and sell screwdrivers like the perfect handle one on the right. There are a few in my shop. A lot of tools were made with the "perfect handle" design (wooden scales held on by rivets). It was handy on screwdrivers since the metal went all the way through they could take light blows from a hammer to break free rusted in screws. Some came with a hex section at the top of the blade so a wrench could be used for extra torque. Somewhere in my accumulation there is a perfect handled monkey wrench.

    There is quite a variety of different styles of wood handled screwdrivers. My favorite is a old turnscrew style or my Cabinet Maker's set.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
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    I also saw some 3 or 4" clamps with an unusual skeleton key knob. I would have bought them for the cool factor but they were missing the end caps or whatever you call the swivel part that meets object to be clamped.

  4. #4
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    I agree with Jim the axe looks to be Boy's axe or Camp Axe size. I have been looking for a head similar to that for a few years to round out my restored collection. The bit looks a bit chewed up in the picture. If you find a good name stamp on the head near the poll like Collins or Plumb or etc there is probably enough good steel to save the head. The big chunk out of the edge I think I see is about a third of the way down from the top of the head.

    I would take it to a blacksmith to have it annealed, then shape it at my place while it is soft, and then back to the smith for tempering. You can certainly try shaping it while it is tempered, the pic is a little fuzzy, but from what I think I see I would have it annealed first. I think the cheeks will need to be thinned down a little bit to meet the new edge well. Also, lots easier to deal with the mushroom on the poll while the head is in an annealed state.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, wouldn't have thought to anneal it. I remember as a boy scout, we were taught to sharpen them with a file. I assumed they weren't to hard.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Hutchings View Post
    Thanks, wouldn't have thought to anneal it. I remember as a boy scout, we were taught to sharpen them with a file. I assumed they weren't to hard.
    They aren't that hard, and I would want a sharper image of the edge, but it looks like a good chip out of the edge. You could just sharpen it, have the remains of the chip in the edge and move on. It will probably cut OK like that. I think if you take it back far enough to get the chip out, and finish with a clean continuous edge; then the cheeks will be too fat too soon, you won't get good depth of cut because the profile will rise too quickly from edge up onto the cheeks.

    With a sharper image I might change my tune.

  7. #7
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    I'll see what I can do.

  8. #8
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    Scott has some good points about the profile. Particularly helpful in that regard would be to also show a photo from the top with the handle facing away from the camera and the cutting edge pointed up, showing the profile of the axe head.

    You may also want to use a file to check the relative hardness of the poll versus the edge to see if thereís still a decent amount of hardened steel remaining. This may affect your choice to have it annealed/shaped or not.

    Your choice of profile for the axe may also depend on what you plan to do with it; ideal for cross grain cuts isnít ideal for splitting, for example. If the head has been ground down to the point that itís short and fat, you might want to shape it for splitting (a bit more of a wedge).

  9. #9
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    Looks like a useful size.

    A good hatchet or axe can be very useful even for general woodworking. Splitting short pieces to rough width, carving spoons, bowls, chair legs, or in fact any shapely work... A good carving axe/hatchet sharpened at a lowish angle (say, 30 degrees) will make the work go very fast, and is one of my favorite tools.

    You can make an entire bow and arrow, and in fact many other items with just an axe, from felling the tree to the finished product.

  10. #10
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    We always called those 3/4 axes. I have a double bladed version.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  11. #11
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    Sorry, forgot to take more photos, I'll try again tonight. My thoughts are to bring it to a decorative state. I don't see myself chopping with it much if at all. I thought I could just grind the mushrooming with an angle grinder and do the same with the edge.

  12. #12
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    IMG_9330.jpg
    New handle...old one had more cracks than a city sidewalk...
    IMG_9331.jpg
    Head is a Dayton pattern....cost more for the new handle ($14.95+ tax) than the ax and old handle ($1)....

    More of a "felling" ax...
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

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